Lower Presidio Historic Park Walking Tour: The Buffalo Soldiers – July 15

Old Monterey Foundation continues to team up with noted Monterey Bay historian and author, Tim Thomas, to offer outstanding “Lower Presidio Historic Park Walking Tours” on the third Saturday of every month from 10:00 a.m. – Noon. Old Monterey Foundation recently installed a monument sign on Pacific Street to make it even easier to find the park.

The next walking tour will be held on Saturday, July 15, 2017“Lower Presidio Historic Park Walking Tour: The Buffalo Soldiers.

In 1901, the post was reopened by the Army as a cavalry and artillery garrison, and among its first units was the legendary 9th Cavalry, the “Buffalo Soldiers,” who were African-Americans. A little-known contribution of the Buffalo Soldiers involved eight troops of the 9th Cavalry Regiment and one company of the 24th Infantry Regiment who served in California’s Sierra Nevada as some of the first national park rangers. In 1899, Buffalo Soldiers from Company H, 24th Infantry Regiment briefly served in Yosemite National Park, Sequoia National Park, and General Grant (Kings Canyon) National Parks.

Tours meet in front of the City of Monterey’s Presidio of Monterey Museum, 113 Corporal Ewing, Building #113. From Monterey, take Pacific Street past the Monterey Conference Center and the First Theater to the end of Pacific where it forks, take the left fork;, turn left onto Artillery Road, turn right on Corporal Ewing Road and follow it a short way to the Presidio of Monterey Museum in the center of the Park against the hill; from Pacific Grove, take Lighthouse Avenue in New Monterey, bear right to go onto Pacific Street and then go to Artillery Road, turn right, and then turn right on Corporal Ewing Road and follow it to the Presidio of Monterey Museum.

Advance reservations are required by contacting Tim Thomas at (831) 521-3304 or via email.  The tour is for ages 10-adult only and the cost is $20 for adults and $15 for kids (10-15 years).  Group rates are also available.

About Tim Thomas

About Lower Presidio Historic Park

Picnic in the Park – Saturday, July 1

Kick off your 4th of July holiday weekend fun at this free family-friendly event! Old Monterey Foundation will hold a Picnic in the Park – Lower Presidio Historic Park on Saturday, July 1, 2017 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Bring your friends and family to this “FUNdraiser” and enjoy great food, live entertainment, historic reenactments, walking tours, costume contests, scavenger hunt, prizes and much more. Enjoy spectacular views of the beautiful Monterey Bay, Old Fisherman’s Wharf and the Monterey Harbor at this park that is hidden in plain view.  See the “before”, which is now and what we envision the “after” to be! Old Monterey Foundation is raising funds to develop trails and interpretive sign for all the monuments to enhance and restore this park which is considered “The Most Historically Significant Site on the West Coast”.

“Picnic in the Park” at Lower Presidio Historic Park will feature:

  • Delicious food for your picnic — from hamburgers to tacos, seafood to sweet treats – available from several visiting Food Trucks. This family friendly picnic features diverse ethnic and American cuisines from your favorite Monterey Bay vendors including: Taste of Mexico, Caesars Etc., Indian Gourmet, Poke Lab, and other sweet treats and brews, including wine and beer.
  • Live Musical Entertainment with Derek Bodkin & the Hovering Breadcat Ensemble featuring folk, rock and seafaring music
  • DeFranco Dance Project, a local youth dance troupe
  • Ragamuffin Musical Theatre Company of Pacific Grove
  • Argentinian Privateer Hippolyte Bouchard (regarded by his victims as a pirate) and his loyal crew will reenact the capture of the Presidio of Monterey (El Castillo) in 1818.
  • Kids and adults are welcome to dress as pirates and be part of the reenactment
  • Costume contests with prizes for best dressed pirate-both kids and adult- there will be lots of pirates booty!
  • Photo Ops with pirates and historic reenactors
  • Scavenger Hunt with Prizes
  • Face painting for the kids
  • Be sure to bring your lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy the day!
  • Visit the Presidio of Monterey Museum, also located on the site and operated by the City of Monterey, an excellent place to view exhibits, artifacts, and videos that lead visitors through Monterey’s various stages of military development from the indigenous period which highlights the area’s native populations; through the Spanish and Mexican periods; and up to present day.
  • Free Lower Presidio Historic Park Walking Tours with historian Tim Thomas at 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm and 2:30 pm. Tim will share why Lower Presidio Historic Park is considered by many professional historians as “The Most Historically Significant Site on the West Coast”.
  • Walk the trails and see the planned interpretive historic signs and trails
  • Visit the restored Saint Serra statue
  • Learn more about Old Monterey’s Foundation’s (a 501(c)3 non-profit) Lower Presidio Historic Park Project – and how to get involved and become a Friend of the Lower Presidio.

Map and Directions

For more information call (831) 346-3030 or email piratesinthepark@gmail.com.

Thank you to our valued media sponsors:   KSBW 8 NBC, Central Coast ABC and Estrella TV Costa Central. Also, a big thank you to the City of Monterey, Monterey County Vintners & Growers Association and Peter B’s Brewpub.

Derek Bodkin and the Hovering Breadcat Folk Ensemble

Derek Bodkin and the “Hovering Breadcat Folk Ensemble” is a wonderful experience of folk rock grooves and deeply insightful lyrics. Derek Bodkin’s eclectic musical background and performance experience has made him a sought-after artist in venues, festivals and events across the western United States.

DiFranco Dance Project

The DiFranco DanceProject, a local youth group, presents a lively, colorful, culturally diverse dance programs by dancers ranging in age from 8 to 18 years, representing Americana, New Orleans Jazz, Afro–Samba of Bahia and Afro–Cuban Fusion and even a unique blend of Afro–Celtic Dance. The dancers of the DiFranco DanceProject, are students of Dianne Lyle’s Afro-Latin Jazz Dance classes, sponsored by the City Pacific Grove Recreation Department. Ragamuffin Musical Theatre Company of Pacific Grove will join the dancers, offering a medley of songs from our upcoming production of ‘Singin’ In The Rain, Jr.’.

Bouchard and His Merry Crew

To tell the fascinating story of Bouchard and his crew, there will be historic living history characters who will tell stories with audience participation.  Come learn more about Argentine Hippolyte Bouchard’s raid in 1818 when he attacked the City of Monterey, the only land and sea battle ever to occur on the West Coast of the United States. Maria Antoni Pico’s fascinating recollection about this event will be shared with attendees.

About Tim Thomas

About Lower Presidio Historic Park

Lower Presidio Historic Park Walking Tours Saturday, June 17 – From Serra to Sloat

Old Monterey Foundation has resumed its monthly Lower Presidio Historic Park Walking tours on the third Saturday of every month from 10:00 AM – Noon. Old Monterey Foundation recently installed a monument sign on Pacific Street to make it even easier to find the park.

The next walking tour will be held on Saturday, June 17, 2017: “Lower Presidio Historic Park Walking Tour: From Saint Serra to Commodore Sloat”. Tim will discuss the history of Saint Serra and Monterey as well as Commodore Sloat at Lower Presidio Historic Park and beyond in this fascinating walking tour.

Tours meet in front of the City of Monterey’s Presidio of Monterey Museum, 113 Corporal Ewing, Building #113. From Monterey, take Pacific Street past the Monterey Conference Center and the First Theater to the end of Pacific where it forks, take the left fork;, turn left onto Artillery Road, turn right on Corporal Ewing Road and follow it a short way to the Presidio of Monterey Museum in the center of the Park against the hill; from Pacific Grove, take Lighthouse Avenue in New Monterey, bear right to go onto Pacific Street and then go to Artillery Road, turn right, and then turn right on Corporal Ewing Road and follow it to the Presidio of Monterey Museum.

Advance reservations are required by calling Tim Thomas at (831) 521-3304 or via email. The tour is for ages 10-adult only and the cost is $20 for adults and kids are $15 (10-15 years). Group rates are also available.

Photo above: Father Serra meeting Portola. California History Room and Archives, Monterey Public Library

About Tim Thomas

About Lower Presidio Historic Park

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“From Pilates to Yoga at the Park” Saturday, June 10

The community is invited to “From Pilates to Yoga at the Park” at the Lower Presidio Historic Park in Monterey, CA. This special free event will be sponsored by the Old Monterey Foundation on Saturday, June 10, 2017 from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. to continue to raise awareness for this beautiful park.

“From Pilates to Yoga at the Park” will feature Pilates and Yoga demonstrations and classes. There will be a 30 minute yoga class by an instructor from Om Studios and a 30 minute Pilates class led by Trudy McCrone, a certified Pilates instructor. The event will feature delicious food for purchase from the popular Spice It Up Catering. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own mat for Pilates and Yoga, towel or folding chair for watching the demos and participating in the mat classes. There will also be many free prize drawings at the event. Om Studios will donate a 5 class card, 3 class reformer package and Om water bottles, lululemon will donate a Yoga mat and several reusable water bottles, and Trudy McCrone, PMA certified Pilates instructor, will donate 3 private sessions. A representative from Old Monterey Foundation will be available to talk briefly about the organization and its work on the Lower Presidio Historic Park project.

Event Schedule – Saturday, June 10, 2017

11:30 a.m. – Noon Welcome and Introductions
Noon – 12:30 p.m. A 30 minute all levels mat Pilates class
12:30 p.m. – 12:45 p.m. Break for lunch. Purchase food from the Spice It Up Food Truck
12:45 p.m. – 1:15 p.m 30 minute all levels Yoga Flow class
1:15 p.m. – 1:30 p.m Prize Drawings

For more information call (831) 521-2313.

Directions to the Lower Presidio Historic Park and Presidio of Monterey Museum. Old Monterey Foundation recently installed a monument sign on Pacific Street to make it even easier to find the park.

About The Lower Presidio Historic Park

About Om Studios

Om Studios has locations in both Monterey and Carmel, CA. Each studio offers a variety of classes and workshops including yoga, pilates, barre and aerial silks. They are a boutique yoga studio focused on motivating their students to explore outside of their comfort zones and challenge themselves, both on and off the mat. Their class sizes are small for an intimate experience and instructors are welcoming and supportive, willing to meet students wherever they’re at in their yoga journey. Om is an energizing, inspiring space saturated with natural light, bamboo flooring and a boutique brimming with the best active wear for practice. The moment students walk through the door, their goal is to make them feel at home, where students and teachers are on a first name basis. They offer a wide range of yoga classes from Heated Vinyasa to Yin as well as a variety of wellness services, including massage and skincare. For more information, go to www.omoasis.com.

About Trudy McCrone

Trudy McCrone is a Certified Pilates and Yoga Instructor serving the Monterey Peninsula. She believes that Pilates is the perfect platform for obtaining overall health and vitality through developing a strong connection between mind and body. Eager to further explore the mind-body connection, she enrolled in a local 200-hr Yoga Alliance Teacher Training in 2016. She believes Yoga teaches you to be in the present moment and challenges you to quiet the mind. She feels very fortunate to have training in both modalities and believes she can provide her clients a unique approach to achieving their fitness and/or wellness goals. For more information or to contact Trudy directly visit her Facebook page.

About lululemon

The lululemon Showroom is located at 700 Cass Street, Suite 101 in Monterey CA 93940.

About Spice It Up Catering

Spice It Up Catering is an American Southwest mobile food business specializing in rotisserie chicken and steak. Spice It Up Catering: “We’re bringing it”.

To arrange an interview with Bill McCrone, Secretary of Old Monterey Foundation, please contact Wendy Brickman at(831) 633-4444 or email brickman@brickmanmarketing.com.

Old Monterey Foundation Lower Presidio Historic Park Walking Tours Resume Saturday, May 20, 2017 to focus on the American/California Period Beginning in 1846

With the weather turning sunny much of the time now, Old Monterey Foundation has resumed the monthly Lower Presidio Historic Park Walking tours with noted Monterey Bay historian and author Tim Thomas, on the third Saturday of every month from 10:00 a.m. to noon. Old Monterey Foundation recently installed a monument sign on Pacific Street to make it even easier to find the park.

The next walking tour will be held on Saturday, May 20, 2017:   “Lower Presidio Historic Park Walking Tour:   Focus on American/California period beginning in 1846. The American/California period began in 1846, including the enactment of the first California Constitution in 1849 through the period when Fort Mervine was a coastal defense and cavalry post.

Tours meet in front of the City of Monterey’s Presidio of Monterey Museum, 113 Corporal Ewing, Building #113. From Monterey, take Pacific Street past the Monterey Conference Center and the First Theater to the end of Pacific where it forks, take the left fork;, turn left onto Artillery Road, turn right on Corporal Ewing Road and follow it a short way to the Presidio of Monterey Museum in the center of the Park against the hill; from Pacific Grove, take Lighthouse Avenue in New Monterey, bear right to go onto Pacific Street and then go to Artillery Road, turn right, and then turn right on Corporal Ewing Road and follow it to the Presidio of Monterey Museum.

Advance reservations are required by calling Tim Thomas at (831) 521-3304 or via email timsardine@yahoo.com.  The tour is for ages 10-adult only and the cost is $20 for adults and $15 for kids $15 (10-15 years).  Group rates are also available. 

About the Lower Presidio Historic Park

About Tim Thomas

View from Lower Presidio Historic Park (3)xx

Entrance Sign Unveiling at Lower Presidio Historic Park Friday, February 3rd

Old Monterey Foundation is pleased to announce a special Lower Presidio Historic Park Entrance Sign Unveiling Ceremony at the entrance to Lower Presidio Historic Park on Friday, February 3rd from 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. The ceremony will take place at the bottom of the hill off of Pacific Street and Artillery Road

The community, elected officials and the media are welcome to attend. Parking is available across the street in the Heritage Harbor Parking Lot or up the hill next to the Presidio of Monterey Museum (#113 Corporal Ewing Road off of Artillery Road) The Lower Presidio Historic Park is one of the least-visited historic parks in the area due to some confusion about whether the public is allowed in the area. Situated in a “hidden in plain sight” location, the park features spectacular views of the Monterey Bay and Harbor and will become a jewel of the City of Monterey’s park system.

According to Frank Sollecito, past President of Old Monterey Foundation, “We are thrilled to unveil the new attractive eye-catching sign that will allow our visitors and locals to more easily see the entrance to the Lower Presidio Historic Park,”This is a wonderfully spacious multi-use important historic public park that should be better utilized and our new sign will point the way. For the first time in over twenty years possession of the Park by the City of Monterey, a sign confirming the “Public is Welcome” will erase any confusion about entering the military reservation.

The beautiful entrance sign was designed by Kelly McCay of Pacific Grove, Sandy Freeman was the Design Manager, the sign was produced by Monterey Signs and installed by the City of Monterey. We sincerely thank the Rotary Club of Monterey for donating the funds necessary to fund the sign work as part of a Legacy Project for the Club. This is just the first step of many to enhance and restore this outstanding historic Park. Funds are also being raised to create an ADA-accessible path to the Sloat Monument as well as restore the head to the historic Saint Serra statue, ideally later this year.”

The Lower Presidio Historic Park, described as “The Most Historically Significant Site on the West Coast” and “One of the Most Beautiful Places in Monterey” is on its way to becoming a true historic public park to be enjoyed by locals and visitors. Old Monterey Foundation, in cooperation with the City of Monterey and Department of the Army, has raised initial funds to begin Phase One of the project to enhance and restore this historic 25.3-acre site and is now seeking public donations to help complete the project. Old Monterey Foundation invites everyone to become members of Friends of the Lower Presidio  and make tax-deductible donations to more quickly restore the park.

With the help of donations and grants, Phase One of the project will give the Lower Presidio Historic Park the look and feel of an historic public park, including improved way-finding and identification entry signs to assist the public in accessing the site and highlighting several of the important historic periods at the Presidio; development of pathways, benches and interpretive signs and monuments on the site; replacement of the old cyclone perimeter fence with a wood-appearing historically accurate fence, minimal branch/tree removal where necessary to assure views of the Monterey Harbor and restore it to the way it was seen historically; and development of an ADA approved path leading to the Sloat Monument, the highest point of the site. Old Monterey Foundation is now also seeking funds to restore the Father Serra statue that was recently vandalized.

Eric Palmer and Anne McGrath of the City of Monterey Outreach Office completed an informative short video about the Lower Presidio Historic Park and its significance to California and American history.

Why is the Lower Presidio Historic Park considered by many professional historians as “The Most Historically Significant Site on the West Coast”?

There are many major historic highlights of this site which include:

  • Prehistoric archaeological presence of indigenous tribes tracing back 10,000 years.
  • Spanish period that begins with the landing in 1602 of Sebastian Vizcaino, who discovered the Monterey Bay and named the land, “Monterey”, after the Viceroy of Mexico; followed by Father Junipero Serra and Gaspar de Portola in 1770; including the first El Castillo (Presidio) up through the Argentinian Hipolite Bouchard’s raid in 1818 when he attacked and sacked the City of Monterey, which is the only land and sea battle ever to occur on the West Coast of the United States.
  • Mexican period (beginning in 1821 until the U.S. occupation, including the mistaken invasion in 1842 by Commodore Catesby-Jones, commanding the U.S. Pacific Squadron.
  • In 1846, Commodore John Drake Sloat captured Monterey and El Castillo at the beginning of the Mexican American War.
  • American/California period beginning in 1846, including the enactment of the first California Constitution in 1849 through the period that includes when Fort Mervine was a coastal defense and cavalry post.
  • In 1866, Fort Mervine was abandoned by the Army.
  • In 1901, reopening of the post by the Army as a cavalry and artillery garrison, and among its first units is the 9th Cavalry, the “Buffalo Soldiers”.
  • Modern era from the turn of the century when the Presidio became primarily a military training facility in 1940.
  • In 1940, the 11th Cavalry, Buffalo Soldiers and the last mounted regiment in Army history, departs to patrol the MEXICAN BORDER. The Presidio then becomes a training post for civil administration officers being sent to occupied territory during World War II.
  • In 1946, the Presidio becomes the Military Intelligence Service Language School, which evolves into the Defense Language Institute as it is known today.

For more information, call (831) 521-2313.

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